Thursday, April 9, 2009

can i do it? amer-ICAN!

Doesn't t.rex look different up there?


HA! Fooled you! That's the Biscuit! A very early version of the Biscuit. Biscuit 1.0. A Biscuit fresh out of the oven. Poppin' fresh. Tee hee!

Have I ever told you about how the Biscuit was born? Because it's very pertinent right now, since April is National Cesarean Awareness Month. Just like one out of three American mothers, I had a c-section. And I didn't want one. Without getting too preachy on you, I want you to know that I am in favor of natural birth. With lots of drugs, maybe, but still "out the garage" instead of "through the living room wall".

Pre-Biscuit, I read every book I could find on midwives, doulas, magical unicorn chanting, you name it. I was ready. And then, after 24 hours of labor and 4 godforsaken hours of pushing*, they determined that she was breech, which means head-up, butt-down, which means OH SH*T!, which in America means immediate surgery.

All my dreams of mother-earth-goddess water birth were out the window, and I was in a cold, brightly lit operating room with my hands strapped to the table, listening to the doctors discuss my gristle. Seriously, they kept talking about my gristle, and when I called them on it, they denied it and went back to talking about golf.

Finally, out came the Biscuit, which looked exactly like this. BEWARE. IT"S GROSS.

If you think *that's* bad, you should have been there for the real thing. Dr. Crog informed me that it looked like a Romero film, and he could see my intestines, although we later determined it was just a random jumble of umbilical cord. Because he's not *that* kind of doctor.

Compared to many women I know, my surgical experience wasn't bad. I had no issues with anesthesia, no complications, no breastfeeding issues, and no problem recovering. I wasn't traumatized, and I felt, in the end, that I had had an interesting experience. Natural up until the last 2 inches, then surgery. Two births for the price of one, which is around $30k for a c-section, in case you're wondering.

Here is my first moment meeting the Biscuit:

I can't describe to you the heartbreaking sweetness of meeting your new baby for the first time and not being able to hold her, because your arms are velcroed to a table, because you're being sewn up by doctors who won't admit to discussing your gristle. The insult of drinking tea and soup for the first 24 hours after the most grueling phyisical experience of your life, and the pure joy when someone sneaks you their famous chocolate chip cookies, and you eat them at midnight like a primeval Cookie Monster, googly eyes and all.

Speaking of googly eyes, give your tired eyes a break and enjoy some more baby Biscuit**:

C-sections have their place.

But they must be used judiciously. Not because a woman is uncomfortable or uninformed, or a doctor likes an easy schedule, or the birth just taking too darned long for the hospital's taste. Our national c-section average is over 30%, as high as 40% in some Atlanta hospitals. The World Health Organization recommends a c-section rate no higher than 15%. The cost to women, babies, and our health care system is enormous.

The main point i'd like to get across is this: Make informed health care choices.

Take ownership of your health care, and know that your decisions are not motivated by fear or money or convenience. Having a VBAC, which is a vaginal birth after cesarean, was one of the proudest and most moving moments of my life, and also one of the most healing.

Having had it both ways, I tell you now that birth via bajingo is 1000 times better than surgery. I was walking within 30 minutes of giving birth and eating within an hour. And I was home within 30 hours, free from hospital food and midnight nurse visits and backless gowns and losing the TV remote while eating lunch and then they show a moose carcass covered in ticks and you can't find the remote and I think i'm pretty much just scarred about moose and ticks forever.

So have a baby with your bajingo, honey. It's there, it's free, use it! Your body is not a lemon. You are not too posh to push. You are a powerful, mighty woman with a hooha of steel! A HOOHA OF STEEL!!!

And here is the Biscuit, with some final words of wisdom:

Wait, nevermind. My brain is fluff. But that's going to happen no matter how the baby comes out. Get used to it.

For further information, visit the International Cesarean Awareness Network, or locally and much, much hipper, our Atlanta chapter.


*At one point in time, I was heard to mutter, "If I knew it would suck this bad, I would have just gone to China."

**Why "poo toes"? When I was still strapped to the bed with 967 tubes and machines, I fell alseep nursing the Biscuit, and when we both woke up, she had had her first poo, which was a lot like that scene in Carrie with the pig blood, but poo. Me, the bed, the baby, the phone, all covered. I called the nurses for 45 minutes until they came to help clean us up. It took weeks to get all the brown out from around her tiny little toenails. So that's another benefit to avoiding surgery-- you won't have to lie in bed covered in sh*t for 45 minutes waiting for the commercial on Guiding Light.

***You know the asterisks are the funniest part, right?


delilah said...

Wow. I just edited the crap out of that post, and it's still too wordy. Tomorrow will be lighter fare, I promise.

And you won't have to look at my guts, or a moose carcass covered with ticks.

Virginia Valerie said...

Wow, great post! So glad to have a momma friend like you even though I am not yet reproducing!

stinestrain said...

great post!

I am honored to have been there to witness your bajingo birth. bits of steel indeed!

yay for cesarean awareness month!

Fantastic Muppet said...

I don't know if I told you yet, but your blog is totally in my Google reader now.

Missy/Viola from BPAL (I feel like I have to keep identifying myself so you're not like who the hell is this girl who pops in occasionally?)

jarvenpa said...

Not too wordy at all.
Did you know April is also National Poetry Month?
And today, yes, today, is the 20th birthday of my youngest child, Gabe. He is a little worried about being old (he has Down Syndrome, and worries in interesting ways)but looks forward to cake.

katiri said...

I had a living room wall for baby1 and and drugged out garage door birth for baby2. HOO-Hah! I mean, Hoo-Rah!

babydaddy tells me that looking at my insides when baby1 was born was freaky; they take some stuff out and set it on your belly while they go in for the uterus.

Love your pics and captions--thought of you as I bought my first "nose screw" at Hot Topic at the Mall.

kristin said...

you tell 'em delilah! my birth experience was so similar to yours - 20 hours of labor & 5 hours pushing at home then off to the hospital for a c-section

I think DH was traumatized for life watching sweet simon being born.

great post

Caroline D. said...

aww, the biscuit was such a cutie! still is, of course.

Anonymous said...

You are a powerful, brave, tough warrior-mama and I love you for that!

Kate said...

Amazing blog post, really smart and funny. And your cheekbones look amazing in that pic.

Kate aka stripeycat

Natasha Kreisle said...

Next time I attend a birth I will so tell the mother that she has "A HOOHA OF STEEL!!!"

Love it!

Anonymous said...

just finally getting around to reading this, AWESOME!! melanie aka vamisadora

Super Duper Bad Ass guy said...

I read that C sections are most commonly performed on Fridays because doctors want to go home and not get stuck at work. I'm not sure if it's true.

Michelle said...

Oh my goodness. It's terrible they didnt come sooner. I hate hospitals.